Amma – commonly known as Mata Amritanandamayi or simply Amma, is the spiritual leader of the non-profit organization called ‘Amritanandamayi Vishwa Samvidnya’. She is widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in modern Hinduism and has been on several lists as one of the most influential people globally. However, few know about her extraordinary humanitarian work, which extends beyond India and extends to places like Africa and Asia. In this article, we take a closer look at her life and mission as a social worker.
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The Birth And Life of Amma
Amma, also known by her full name ‘Amritanandamayi’, was born in Bhakthavila, a village near Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, on 19th October 1952. This places her in the Virgo star sign. Her parents had high aspirations for her and gave her the best education possible. Her father, Ayya Samraj, was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and this greatly influenced Amma too. Amma was married at the age of 16 to a man named Viswanathan. However, after a few years, she left her husband and her life as a homemaker, and took to the spiritual path. This decision was made with the help of her guru, Swami Vidyabhavananda, who asked her to “become the fragrance of compassion in the world”.
Amma’s mission as a social worker
Amma’s work as a spiritual leader is well known, and has been discussed at length through this article. However, her work as a social worker is often overlooked. This is perhaps because of the subtle and unassuming way in which she goes about it. The mission statement of the ‘Amritanandamayi Foundation’ is “To uplift human dignity by providing a safe and supportive environment for children and women who are poor, oppressed or marginalized”. Amma has set up around 800 charitable organizations across the globe, which are involved in activities like education, healthcare, women’s empowerment, disaster relief, rehabilitation etc. Notably, her charitable organizations are self-sustaining and function without any government support. The Foundation has state-of-the-art hospitals that provide free care to all, and schools that offer free education to children from the underprivileged sections of society. Amma often says that her work is aimed at addressing the “three Ds” – ‘Disease’, ‘Difficulty’ and ‘Dignity’. Therefore, her work is often targeted at the poor, the needy, and the marginalized.
Helping Women In India
Amma has always focused on helping women and children, particularly those who belong to the most disadvantaged sections of society. Women and children are especially vulnerable and require special attention in times of crisis. In addition, they are often the last to receive aid and relief in the aftermath of natural disasters and other crises. In the aftermath of the Gujarat earthquake of 2001, Amma and other volunteers rushed to help people. They set up relief camps, distributed food and water, and provided medical care to those who needed it. Unfortunately, the earthquake also left thousands of women widowed and without any means to support themselves or their children. During these trying times, Amma helped these women by giving them new opportunities to support themselves. She set up self-help groups for women, providing them with the tools that they needed to earn a living. This included sewing machines, knitting machines and machines for making pickles.
Amritanandamayi Foundation (AMF)
The ‘Amritanandamayi Foundation’ is a non-profit organization that was set up by Amma in 1992. It provides education to underprivileged children, cultivates and promotes sustainable agriculture, provides free medical treatment and care for the sick and disabled, and works towards social and environmental justice. The Foundation has branch offices in the USA, Canada, UK and Africa, and has a network of over 800 charitable organizations across the globe. The Foundation is funded largely through the generosity of Amma’s devotees. Each year, they are expected to contribute at least one tenth of their income to the Foundation. However, the amount given by her devotees goes far beyond this. The Foundation has a very efficient system for accepting donations, which includes the use of online banking for a large percentage of donations.
What is unique about the way Amma helps people?
There are many things that make Amma stand out as a social worker. Firstly, as stated above, her work is largely self-sustaining, and she doesn’t ask for or receive government assistance or grants. Her charitable organizations are also open to people of all faiths and backgrounds. In fact, many of her charitable organizations are set up in places where there are few or no religious organizations. This makes the help she provides accessible to everyone, not just those who are Hindu. This is significant because it helps to break down barriers and bring people together, regardless of their background.
Amma and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
In 2006, Amma was invited to address the World Philanthropy Forum in Colorado. Melinda Gates, the co-chair of BMGF, was in the audience, and she was so moved by Amma’s speech that she requested a meeting with her. When the two met, they discussed BMGF’s work and their goals and visions for the future, as well as Amma’s work in India and her charitable organizations. Amma offered her support to BMGF and told Melinda that she would like BMGF to support her Foundation. This offer was gratefully accepted by BMGF, and they provided support to Amma’s Foundation. This collaboration was so successful that in 2009, BMGF invited Amma to become a partner with them and also a member of their governing board.
The incredible work of the Amritanandamayu Foundation: A brief summary
Amma’s work as an activist and social worker and the work of the Amritanandamayi Foundation have been extremely fruitful. As mentioned earlier, her charitable organizations reach out to millions of people globally. The Foundation has state-of-the-art hospitals that provide free care to all, and schools that offer free education to children from the underprivileged sections of society. In addition, it also works towards social and environmental justice. The Foundation has branch offices in the USA, Canada, UK and Africa, and has a network of over 800 charitable organizations across the globe. The amount of work that Amma has done, and the difference that she has made in the world, is truly remarkable given that she hasn’t been involved in social work for very long. She was only 33 when she set up the Foundation and 37 when she became partners with BMGF. Despite this, she has already made a difference in countless lives, and has been consistently praised for the way she goes about her work. Her work has been recognized through many awards and honours, such as being listed as one of the Most Powerful Women in the world by Forbes and being the recipient of the Templeton Prize.
The significance of Amma’s work
As discussed in the article, Amma has made remarkable progress in her work as a social worker, particularly in the last decade or so. Her work is important for several reasons. First of all, it helps people in need, which is the most significant reason. Secondly, it helps people to come together, regardless of their religious or social backgrounds. Thirdly, it helps to break down barriers and make people more accepting of each other, which is an incredibly important aspect to consider in today’s world. Finally, it helps to inspire people and make them more hopeful for the future. In conclusion, Amma’s work is significant because it helps people in need, it helps people to come together, it breaks down barriers and makes people more accepting of each other, and it inspires people and makes them hopeful for the future.
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